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 2012 Draft Grades 
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Post 2012 Draft Grades
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Fox Sports wrote:
Czar's team-by-team NFL Draft grades

Thirty-two teams, seven rounds, three days. The 2012 NFL Draft is in the books.

And so are our grades on how each team improved itself — or didn't.

How did your team fare?

Let's look:

Arizona Cardinals

They got great value with Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd, who should take a lot of pressure off Larry Fitzgerald. Floyd has had past drinking problems, but he also caught 37 touchdown passes and can be Plaxico Burress-like in the red zone. ... Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming was a steal as the 80th overall pick and ideally fits the Cardinals' blitz-scheme approach to defense. ... Ole Miss offensive tackle Bobby Massie is a road-grader and has a chance to start right away. He was a super value on the third day of the draft. ... With so many concerned about how far this team can go with Kevin Kolb, the Cardinals took the quarterback plunge with strong-armed Ryan Lindley, who was 23-26 at San Diego State. Lindley is definitely a project, but he did throw a school-record 90 touchdowns. ... Washington offensive tackle Senio Kelemete is a 307-pounder who has chance to stick. Some teams had him rated as high as the fifth round. Grade: B+

Atlanta Falcons

They traded away their first-rounder in order to get receiver Julio Jones last season, and that's a plus. When you consider they also traded for Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, they helped their defense big time. General manager Thomas Dimitroff then used his picks to upgrade his offensive line with Wisconsin guard-center Peter Konz and Southern Miss offensive tackle Lamar Holmes, who has long arms and figures to go beyond his 325 pounds. Both of these guys are mean and bring a lot of tenacity. ... Love the pick of Wisconsin fullback Bradie Ewing, who should help in goal-line situations and in pass protection. Grade: C

Baltimore Ravens

There is no doubt Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome and his PR-conscious sidekick Eric DeCosta know how to draft. Their first three selections, none in the first round, reflected quality. Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw had tremendous value, but he's not a replacement for Ray Lewis. Upshaw, who is excited about joining this defense, will be given a chance to replace Jarret Johnson, who jumped to the Chargers. ... Iowa State guard Kelechi Osemele and Delaware guard Gino Gradkowski prove that Newsome wants to fix his offensive line. ... Temple running back Bernard Pierce has the slashing style of Ray Rice, but he needs to work on his receiving skills. Grade: B

Buffalo Bills

Their biggest need was the offensive line, and the Bills took two potential starters in Georgia guard Cordy Glenn, who was ranked on some clubs' first-round boards, and Florida State's Zebrie Sanders in the fourth round. Sanders is 6-foot-5, 320 pounds while Glenn could end up being the starter at left tackle. ... South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore isn't as talented as Janoris Jenkins, but he's a lot safer selection and will see the field immediately. Top pick Gilmore fills a definite need, especially with Tom Brady in the division. ... North Carolina State receiver T.J. Graham was taken too early. Grade: B

Carolina Panthers

They landed the best pure middle linebacker in Boston College's Luke Kuechly, a tackling machine. He has the potential to be another Brian Urlacher. ... They surrendered next year's third-round pick and a sixth-round pick in order to take pass-rushing end Frank Alexander out of Oklahoma. He better get six to eight sacks this year to be worth that! ... Second-round pick Amini Silatolu (6-foot-3 1/2, 320) has been favorably compared to Larry Allen. Granted, Silatolu started his career as a defensive lineman and played at Division II Midwestern State. He may dominate, but a couple scouts pointed out he's not a rocket scientist. ... The Panthers didn't solve their headaches at defensive tackle, but they did get the draft's best returner (five punt returns for touchdowns) in Joe Adams from Arkansas. He'll also shore up Caroina's receiving corps. Grade: B

Chicago Bears

Two of the first three picks were defenders. Boise State's Shea McClellin is a farm-tough linebacker who can rush the passer and also line up on the outside. Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin missed the entire 2011 season due to shoulder surgery, but the Bears say he'll be ready for the rookie mini-camp. ... South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffrey is a big-body receiver with 4.48 speed. Jeffrey, though, was better two years ago than he was last season, some believing he was protecting himself against injury for this draft. His high-school basketball team won four state titles, and he can jump out of the gym. ... Temple's Evan Rodriguez could emerge as a tight end/H-back player. They really didn't address their offensive line needs, however. Grade: C-

Cincinnati Bengals

Based on mock drafts, their first three picks were projected in the first round, including Devon Still, Penn State's gap-quick defensive tackle who was the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. They also took the two players they designated two weeks ago: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and rugged guard Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin. Kirkpatrick was rated third at his position and Zeitler should start immediately. ... Then the Bengals satisfied Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu, who was crank-called on Thursday by a fan who said the Bengals had drafted him in the first round. Instead, Sanu went 83rd overall. He was a three-year starter and figures to be a slot receiver. ... Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson had second-round talent and was taken 93rd overall. ... Later, they took two solid players in Cal receiver Marvin Jones and 6-foot-4, 225-pound free safety George Iloka, a favorite of Deion Sanders. Iloka has the quickness to be put in man coverage. Grade: A

Cleveland Browns

No one knows where quarterback Colt McCoy stands with management, but the offense definitely will be better with Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Jim Brown may not be a huge Richardson fan, but the guy did average 5.8 yards a carry and can be an effective receiver. The shocker was Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, who will turn 29 in October. Yes, Weeden is mature, but can you really sit such an old player behind McCoy? Obviously, the Browns are embarking on a quarterback competition or have definitely decided that McCoy is not the guy. It wasn't that long ago the Browns used the 22nd overall pick in the first round on a quarterback. Remember Brady Quinn? ... They did help the defense with a couple of late-round picks in Nevada linebacker James-Michael Johnson and Boise State defensive linemen Billy Winn. Both of these players can make the roster. ... The Browns could have used another playmaker, but did land a quality offensive tackle in Cal's Mitchell Schwartz. ... They reached in the fourth round on Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes. Grade: C

Dallas Cowboys

This team blew five fourth-quarter leads last season as Rob Ryan's defense faltered time and again. So owner Jerry Jones made the bold move to trade up with the Rams in order to take LSU's Morris Claiborne, the draft's most complete cornerback. This was a bold move, and Claiborne has no character flaws. ... They waited until the third round for their next pick. Ryan has to love the addition of Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford. ... Wake Forest outside linebacker Kyle Wilber also has pass-rush potential and, at worse, is a special-teams star. ... Eastern Washington's Matt Johnson will be given every chance to become a starting safety. The late-round find could be Oklahoma tight end James Hanna, who has a quick first step and possibly give Jason Witten a rest, since Witten isn't getting any younger. Grade: B+

Denver Broncos

With Peyton Manning at quarterback, this is a different franchise, and they are now the obvious favorites in the AFC West. Still, John Elway took a real developmental quarterback in Arizona State's Brock Osweiler, who is all of 6-foot-7 with a very slow delivery. He seems like a shaky second-round pick. ... Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe will help Denver's outside rushers because he also has some pass-rush juice. ... Arizona State cornerback Omar Bolden fell to the fourth round because of medical issues, but when healthy he may have been a low second-rounder. He missed all of last season. ... San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman is the ideal complement to Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno in the backfield. He's quicker than both of those backs. ... Baylor center Philip Blake is a 26-year-old Canadian who made 36 college starts and has the maturity to help immediately. ... With starting linebacker D.J. Williams facing a suspension, Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan was a great choice because he's a tackling machine. Grade: B-

Detroit Lions

With an aging offensive line, Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff fills a specific need, especially with a 5,000-yard passer in Matthew Stafford. Reiff is a highly skilled pass protector and could end up starting this season. ... The Lions took two players from Oklahoma. One of them was linebacker Ronnell Lewis, whose nickname is "The Hammer" for reasons I'm sure you can imagine. Lewis delivers the blows. The other Sooner was receiver Ryan Broyles, who wasn't considered a top-10 receiver by several teams because he's coming off a torn left knee ACL. Before the injury last November, he scored 45 touchdowns in his college career. ... Detroit needs some cornerback help and took two potential ones in Dwight Bentley from Louisiana-Lafayette and Chris Greenwood from nearby Albion College. Grade: B-


Green Bay Packers

There was more positive talk about the Packers' second- and third-round picks than their No. 1 selection, Nick Perry, a pure edge rusher from USC. Green Bay has its fingers crossed that Perry can bookend their magnificent outside linebacker Clay Matthews, also a former Trojan. It will be up to linebackers coach Kevin Greene to make Perry a dominant performer. However, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy can be a dominant five-technique player and really help B.J. Raji. The Packers may never care if Mike Neal comes back from his four-game suspension. Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward is an ideal Cover Two player and is really smart and knows when to make a play on the ball. Hayward may not have tantalizing speed, but he did have 15 interceptions and was a team captain. ... Outside linebacker Terrell Manning has a chance to be more than a special teams contributor. ... The Packers took one player in the late rounds that has a chance: Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko, who slipped because of a late-season injury. ... Their last pick, B.J. Coleman, a quarterback from Tennessee-Chattanooga, was taken to possibly replace the departed Matt Flynn. Grade: B

Houston Texans

Houston has consistently selected defensive players in the first round, and didn't disappoint its fans with Illinois pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, who had 16 sacks last season. Some teams pegged Mercilus as a one-year wonder, but he suits what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips loves to do. ... Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick was another gem with the 126th overall pick. ... Apparently, the Texans want to cut Jacoby Jones loose based on taking two more receivers in Ohio State's DeVier Posey and Michigan State's Keshawn Martin, who's not afraid to go over the middle. Martin has 4.46 speed and figures to be a plus in the return game as well. Grade: B-

Indianapolis Colts

If you accept the premise that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a better prospect than Peyton Manning was 14 years ago, then the Colts definitely are on the right track. It's just too bad they were unable to receive any compensation for Peyton bolting for the Broncos. To make his life comfortable in Indianapolis, Luck's best friend, tight end Coby Fleener, was taken with the 34th pick when some very good defensive players were still on new general manager Ryan Grigson's board. Peyton missed the playoffs once, but Luck may not be as lucky, because the Colts' cupboard isn't fully stocked right now. ... That explains another tight end, Clemson's Dwayne Allen, as another second-round pick. ... T.Y. Hilton should give them a great return threat. ... Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman has the muscle and quickness to help defend the run. With the switch to a 3-4 defense, he may be the starting nose tackle. ... But most of their draft was about fixing the offense, and Mississippi State running back Vick Ballard could be a surprise addition. ... The Colts drafted Mr. Irrelevant, symbolic of the 253rd and last pick, by taking Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, who might have fun during the Newport Beach Mr. Irrelevant festivities, but probably won't get many reps in training camp. Grade: A-

Jacksonville Jaguars

They made a smart move to jump ahead of the Rams to draft Justin Blackmon, who is potentially the most productive receiver in the draft. He should immediately become quarterback Blaine Gabbert's best friend. ... Defensive end Andre Branch could be a stand-up pass rushing linebacker; solid character, too. ... They took a PR hit for taking the draft's best punter, Cal's Bryan Anger, with the 70th overall pick. Anger, who averaged 43.7 yards a punt, is a very good directional punter and can also hold. He's the first punter taken this high since the Bears tabbed Todd Sauerbrun in 1995. Anger has the ability to really change this team's field position. Grade: C

Kansas City Chiefs

Coach Romeo Crennel has been searching for a nose tackle for his 3-4 defensive scheme and found the right guy in Dontari Poe from Memphis. Poe has tremendous upside as long as he listens to Crennel. ... The Chiefs also upgraded their offensive line with Jeff Allen, who played both left and right tackle at Illinois, and Oklahoma's Donald Stephenson. However, Stephenson has failed drug tests, been arrested and was also suspended for the entire 2009 season. No offensive tackle jumped higher or longer than Stephenson at the Scouting Combine, though. ... Fresno State receiver Devon Wylie may be a faster Wes Welker, and Cyrus Gray is a very underrated running back from Texas A&M. Scott Pioli found several athletes and all of them at positions of need. Grade: B+

Miami Dolphins

Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the obvious selection, considering his connection to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, his head coach in college last year. And, yes, owner Stephen Ross wanted to draft a quarterback, considering the franchise hasn't had one since Danny Marino. But unlike Luck and RG3, Tannehill isn't ready to start in the NFL, because just two years ago he was a college receiver. He's had just 19 starts under center for the Aggies. Matt Moore, who was 6-3 down the stretch last season, still figures to start opening day. ... Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin may have better feet than Jake Long. ... Two players from "The U" have a chance. Defensive end Olivier Vernon can be a rush specialist while running back Lamar Miller is a home-run threat just like Reggie Bush; just an odd pick because he's not an inside runner and not a very good receiver. Also, Miller is coming off shoulder surgery. Grade: C

Minnesota Vikings

General manager Rick Spielman did an impressive job getting extra picks for his top spot and still ended up with tackle Matt Kalil. The USC lineman fills a huge need at left tackle because Christian Ponder was pummeled last season. ... They moved back into the bottom of the first round to land Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, considered by many as the second-best safety behind Alabama's Mark Barron. ... Sticking with Golden Domers, cornerback Robert Blanton has the ability to shift to safety and deal with the bigger tight ends popping up around the NFL. ... USC's Rhett Ellison, son of ex-Raider Riki Ellison, is a tremendous blocking tight end. He's also a big target in the red zone. ... In the late rounds, Greg Childs of Arkansas is a big-body receiver with decent speed. ... Georgia kicker Blair Walsh has value, averaging 4.4 hang time on his kickoffs and converting 76.25 of his field goals over his final three seasons. But what does Walsh mean for Ryan Longwell? ... Inside linebacker Audie Cole of North Carolina State has very limited range. Grade: B-

New England Patriots

There is no question the Patriots were uncharacteristically deficient on defense last season. Consequently, Bill Belichick decided to fix it and had the ammunition to do it. Give the man credit for stockpiling draft picks. With their two first-round selections, Belichick took Syracuse edge pass rusher Chandler Jones, then grabbed multi-purpose linebacker Dont'a Hightower from Alabama. Both of these guys should be interesting chess pieces in the New England scheme, especially with Jerod Mayo in the middle. Hightower figures to line up all over the field. ... Illinois safety Tavon Wilson has solid speed and fills other needs, too. ... Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette is a try-hard rusher with a big motor. Bequette can be effective in certain situationals and impressively worked as a stand-up rusher at the Senior Bowl. Grade: A

New Orleans Saints

Well, "Bountygate" robbed them of a second-round pick and running back Mark Ingram cost them their first-round pick. When they finally made a choice, they took defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who busted out of LSU and ended up playing in Regina, Canada. Hicks is from Sacramento, Calif., but he supposedly has tight ankles, according to Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. ... Syracuse guard Andrew Tiller is a space-eater in the mold of the departed Carl Nicks, while Al Toon's son, Nick Toon, is another big-body receiver, similar to Marques Colston. ... Nebraska tackle Marcel Jones is a mammoth man who will have to watch his weight. Grade: D

New York Giants

Picking last in every round is never easy, but the Giants still selected some quality, starting with Virginia Tech running back David Wilson, who gained 990 yards after contact last season, tops in college football. Wilson will make fans forget Brandon Jacobs, who bolted for San Francisco this offseason. ... Jayron Hosley is a slot cornerback from Virginia Tech who had nine interceptions in 2010. He also averaged 12 yards per punt return and is an all-around special teamer. ... Mike Pope, one of the greatest tight end coaches of all time, got another project in Adrien Robinson of Cincinnati, a 6-foot-4, 264-pounder. With Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum nursing knee injuries, Robinson has a shot to make the roster. ... The Giants also drafted a couple of offensive tackles, the best one probably being Matt McCants from UAB. ... LSU receiver Rueben Randle suffered from poor quarterback play in college, but he has size (6-foot-4) and speed to make fans forget Mario Manningham. Grade: B

New York Jets

This franchise rolled the dice on all their first three picks, which has been their approach lately. It doesn't mean the draftees aren't talented, it's just whether or not they are the right fit. There were questions about North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, the first-round pick. Some scouts thought he had a bad habit of taking plays off. ... They traded up for Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill because he's a great blocker for their power running game. Now, that makes some sense because Hill only caught 49 passes in his college career. And he should be able to block because Tech used a triple-option running game. But Hill is 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.3 40-yard dash. ... Demario Davis of Arkansas State is another edge rushing linebacker. ... Baylor's Terrance Ganaway, a 240-pound running back, could be a great find and should help on short-yardage. ... Staying at Baylor, the Jets took right guard Brandon T. Griffin, a 335-pounder with no relation to his former quarterback teammate. Grade: C

Oakland Raiders

This was an incomplete draft because their first pick wasn't until late in the third round. Fans can partially blame last year's Carson Palmer trade for that. First pick Tony Bergstrom played tackle at Utah, but figures to move to guard for the Raiders. The best thing about Bergstrom is that he's a nasty player, an Oakland prerequisite. ... Penn State defensive end Jake Crawford is a developmental player and most of the late picks appear to be special teams players only. ... One interesting choice was Arizona receiver Juron Criner, a 6-foot-3, 224-pounder who is more of a possession type than a burner. Criner has the hands to force his way onto the field. ... In order to sell tickets, the Raiders have initiated a program that would also help the Oakland school district financially. Now, there's a win-win all the way around. Grade: D

Philadelphia Eagles

Coach Andy Reid took a lot of heat last season for naming offensive-line coach Juan Castillo his defensive coordinator. Well, this year Castillo has run out of excuses, because they drafted some tremendous defensive talent. Fletcher Cox can anchor the interior of Philadelphia's wide-nine approach with its pass rushers. Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks was the second-best middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. Kendricks has some injury issues, but is a rock-solid football player. Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin can handle the slot, while defensive end Vinny Curry had 26 1/2 sacks at Marshall. Curry is a street kid from New Jersey who has turned around his life despite a learning disability. He has tremendous upside. ... Of course, Reid couldn't help himself with the pick of Arizona quarterback Nick Foles, who broke Drew Brees' records at Westlake High in Austin, Texas. Unlike Michael Vick, Foles has feet of cement, but he does have very good arm strength. Grade: B

Pittsburgh Steelers

They got two first-round talents in Stanford's David DeCastro, simply the best guard in the draft, and Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams, who was considered the second-riskiest player behind Janoris Jenkins. Adams tested positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine, then lied to the Steelers about it. But to his credit, Adams sought out the Steelers and apologized and got back in their good graces. He may even defer his signing bonus. If he stays clean, though, the Steelers have rebuilt their porous offensive line, which got Ben Roethlisberger sacked 40 times last season and also ruined his ankle. DeCastro could end up being better than Alan Faneca. ... With 35-year-old Casey Hampton, Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu, all 350 pounds of him, made perfect sense in the fourth round. Ta'amu had an awesome Senior Bowl. ... Florida running back Chris Rainey has awesome speed and reminds new offensive coordinator Todd Haley of Dexter McCluster, his former all-purpose running back in Kansas City. Grade: A+

San Diego Chargers

Their third-down defense was awful last season, and general manager A.J. Smith hopes he's fixed that with his first three picks, all of them potential starters. South Carolina linebacker Melvin Ingram is a pass rusher and so was UConn's Kendall Reyes at defensive end. LSU safety Brandon Taylor can cover and also play the deep middle. He's fearless in the tackle box, too. They also took the Combine's workout warrior in tight end Ladarius Green from Louisiana-Lafayette. The Chargers hope Green will be productive immediately opposite Antonio Gates. At 6-foot-6, he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and also scored 22 touchdowns. ... Penn State guard Johnnie Troutman (6-foot-4, 325) is a plugger who figures to be a reserve. Grade: B

San Francisco 49ers

They had a decent draft, especially after they were able to get Carolina's third-round pick next season for one of their fourth-round picks. Then they got a steal in the fourth round with Wake Forest guard Joe Looney, who was available because he broke his foot at the Senior Bowl. Looney started as a true freshman at left guard and fills a need in San Francisco. ... They went for pure speed in their first two selections, Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins and Oregon running back LaMichael James, who must develop into a third-down receiver. James, though, did rush for over 1,500 yards in three consecutive college seasons and has home-run ability based on his 53 touchdowns. Still, James isn't Darren Sproles quite yet. ... Notre Dame linebacker Darius Fleming is a tweener, but a great open-field tackler who will help on special teams. ... Virginia pass rusher Cam Johnson, a classic underachiever, made perfect sense in the low-risk seventh round. Grade: C+

Seattle Seahawks

Coach Pete Carroll is hoping Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson (75th overall pick) develops into Drew Brees. The knock on Wilson is his height; he's only 5-foot-10, a tad shorter than the 6-foot Brees. But he can throw a deep ball, is very athletic and off-the-charts in the locker room. He can be a great leader. Obviously, he's going to push Tarvaris Jackson because the Seahawks have put a lot of money in ex-Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn's pocket. ... Their entire draft was one shocker after another. In the first round, they took West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, who was off a lot of boards because of his arrest last month on a vandalism charge. But Irvin does have tons of ability and, like Carroll said, might be the best pass rusher in this draft. ... Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner could fill the void of leading tackler David Hawthorne. Wagner's college teammate, running back Robert Turbin, is the "strong dude" Carroll wanted for when Marshawn Lynch takes a breather. ... They don't need much help in the secondary, but took two sixth-round flyers on Jeremy Lane and Winston Guy. Grade: B

St. Louis Rams

This was an odd draft for the Rams in that they started with the second overall pick and somehow failed to get one of the top six players. They traded away the rights to Robert Griffin III, still didn't get Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, then saw fit to deal the pick that would have rewarded them with LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne to the Cowboys. Instead, the Rams rolled the dice with the biggest question mark talent in the draft in cornerback Janoris Jenkins (yes, he may be better on the field than Claiborne), a repeat marijuana offender and already a father of four. ... The entire key to their draft is whether LSU's Michael Brockers can be a dominant defensive tackle and if Appalachian State's Brian Quick is an immediate deep weapon for Sam Bradford. Can he really be T.O.? ... Several teams had first-round grades on Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who was taken 65th overall. ... Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead is a great change-up running back to Steven Jackson's power. ... If Jenkins can stay clean and produce, this can be a great draft based on the two future first-round picks Washington gave them for RGIII. But my memory is that Rams coach Jeff Fisher already failed with Pacman Jones in Tennessee. Take it from Jenkins, who railed against the idea that he should be compared to Pacman: "No, because I never shot up a strip club or nothing like that!" ... Wake Forest receiver Chris Givens has second-round talent, but seventh-round character. He could be a dynamic slot receiver. Missouri State kicker Greg Zuerlein made 9 of 9 field goals from 50 yards or more last season. Zuerlein gets tremendous height and also can kick off. The Rams definitely improved their overall team speed — remember, they signed veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan in free-agency — and now the coaching staff carries the burden of coaching these young men up. Grade: A

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After years of taking some risky characters, the Bucs went for solid players who also happened to be captains and leaders on their college teams. Alabama safety Mark Barron will be the new leader of their secondary with Tanard Jackson gone to the Redskins. Barron was the fastest rising player in this draft the last couple of weeks. ... General manager Mark Dominik made another smart trade moving back into the bottom of the first round to take Boise State running back Doug Martin, an ideal change-up runner to powerful LeGarrette Blount. ... Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David could become the weakside starter. ... Two late-round choices, 5-foot-9 running back Michael Smith from Utah State, and Northwestern tight end Drake Dunsmore, have a solid chance to make the final roster. Having 90 players in training camp should really help rookie head coach Greg Schiano. Grade: B+

Tennessee Titans

Baylor receiver Kendall Wright was a three-sport star in high school (all-state in football, basketball and track), but settled on catching footballs and was Robert Griffin III's main man, catching 302 passes for 4,004 yards and 30 touchdowns in a stellar college career. Wright should start right away. ... North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown had a great Senior Bowl, but he's considered a track guy. Tennessee has to figure out where to play him and how to use him. ... Clemson cornerback Cody Sensabaugh has 4.3 speed and can play the slot and will be effective on special teams this season. ... Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin won a state wrestling championship and plays with a lot of power. He's a good fit for a 4-3 alignment. Grade: C

Washington Redskins

Coach Mike Shanahan and his coordinator son, Kyle, believe they made a smart pick with Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, but all they did was unnecessarily put more pressure on their No. 1 pick, Robert Griffin III. Yes, RG3 can handle it, but we all know what the media will do this summer if he has an awful preseason. The Shanahans must be worried about RG3's durability, but it doesn't make much sense to put extra pressure on their anointed No. 1 quarterback. We understand the value in having quarterbacks — former Packers GM Ron Wolf developed it into an art form with Brett Favre on his roster — but this team didn't have the luxury of making this pick. Besides, the Packers were a proven playoff team when Wolf was working his magic. Cousins is smart, but a lot of teams viewed him as a developmental quarterback. And he better know his place. ... SMU guard Josh LeRibeus has the stoutness to be a starter this season while Iowa guard Adam Gettis is scrappy and figures to be a reserve. ... Florida Atlantic's Alfred Morris is a running back who fits the Washington style. ... Two late secondary performers, SMU's Richard Crawford and Iowa's Jordan Bernstine, figure to be battling for one roster spot. Grade: A-

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April 30th, 2012, 11:16 am
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
oh Mel... NFC North

Quote:
Chicago Bears
Grade: C+
Kiper snippet: "I'm really surprised they had six picks and didn't get a single offensive lineman."
Seifert comment: The Bears weren't joking before the draft when they said they were satisfied with the makeup of their offensive line, one that will include the return of Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams. Saturday, coach Lovie Smith said: "We as a coaching staff are going to try and put the players in a better position, adding Chris and Gabe to the mix. There's a period of time, as you might have forgotten, during the season, when we played pretty good ball on the offensive line." Kiper thinks that first-round defensive end Shea McClellin might have been overvalued at No. 19 and isn't a big fan of second-round receiver Alshon Jeffery, but I think the Bears improved both positions with those additions.

Detroit Lions
Grade: B
Kipper snippet: "The board broke pretty well for Detroit."
Seifert comment: Yes, few media analysts thought tackle Riley Reiff would be available at No. 23 overall. (Clearly they hadn't measured his arm length.) And it's true the Lions managed to snag three intriguing cornerbacks after making the surprise choice of receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round. But to me what stands out about the Lions' draft is that they are in position to address future needs rather than desperately flail at their current issues. Reiff might not be a starter until 2013 or 2014, and Broyles' knee rehabilitation means he might not have immediate impact, either. It's called roster maintenance, and the Lions haven't been in that position in a while.


Green Bay Packers
Grade: B
Kiper snippet: "The Packers simply had to add to the pass rush."
Seifert comment: There will be plenty of talk moving forward about first-round linebacker Nick Perry and some about fifth-round linebacker Terrell Manning, whom Kiper loves as a situational pass-rusher. But you wonder if they'll both be eclipsed by second-round defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, a first-round talent who should be highly motivated by his draft fall. He's got the ability and capacity to become a dominant force on the line, whether it's as a 3-4 end or as a tackle in the nickel. Worthy could turn this into a proverbial "A" draft.

Minnesota Vikings
Grade: B
Kiper snippet: "I don't think we'll look back and see a lot of star power here, but they got what they needed."
Seifert comment: General manager Rick Spielman did a good job convincing everyone he was considering several bad decisions, and thus has been widely praised for making what seemed to be the obvious ones. That's the case for both of his first round picks, left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith. And after passing on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Spielman at least added some speed to the position by drafting Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson. At the end of the weekend, Spielman used 10 draft picks and pushed two more into 2013. Quantity runs a close second to quality in the draft.

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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
SI.com wrote:
2012 NFL Draft Grades

The 2012 NFL Draft is in the books after one long and eventful weekend. There’s nothing left to do now but sit back and break down what each team did — and did not do — with their time on the clock.

The very unscientific formula behind these draft grades puts more weight on picks the higher they were made, as should be the case. So, a team could not save or ruin its draft with its late-round selections, but one guy in the first round or two could be a game-changer.

And with that, this year’s grades:

Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald badly needed some help at wide receiver, and the Cardinals hope that Michael Floyd will provide it. Not having a second-round pick hurt the final product, but CB Jamell Fleming (No. 80 overall) is a decent fit and Bobby Massie was a steal at 112. Adding offensive linemen Senio Kelemte and Nate Potter late ought to help a shaky unit. Grade: B

Atlanta Falcons: Without a first-round pick because of the move up for Julio Jones last year, the Falcons struck gold when Peter Konz fell to them at 55. It was mostly downhill from there, a slide started by the reach for OT Lamar Holmes, a major project, at 94. Troy DE Jonathan Massaquoi (164) might bump this group up down the line. Grade: C

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens traded down and still landed DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (35), who may develop into the next feared defender in Baltimore. Guard Kelechi Osemele (60) and running back Bernard Pierce (84) filled needs well, making the Ravens’ reaches in Round 5 (Gino Gradkowski and Christian Thompson) more tolerable. Grade: B

Buffalo Bills: For the first five rounds, the Bills turned in a relatively strong draft, with the lone head-scratcher being WR T.J. Graham (69). Staying put and nabbing CB Stephon Gilmore at No. 10 could pay off big time, as could jumping on G/T Cordy Glenn at 41. Grade: B-plus

Carolina Panthers: I’m a big fan of Carolina’s draft work, beginning with Luke Kuechly at No. 9. Versatile offensive lineman Amini Silatolu (40) ought to carve out a nice role, too, and it’s hard to argue with any of Carolina’s other picks. Getting WR Joe Adams (103) and CB Josh Norman (143) in the mid-rounds can’t be overlooked. Grade: A-minus

Chicago Bears: Can Shea McClellin develop into the pass-rusher Chicago needs? Will Alshon Jefferey stay in shape? Is Brandon Hardin healthy? The Bears took some risks early and nabbed a couple of borderline prospects late. Grade: C

Cincinnati Bengals: If you didn’t buy the Bengals’ rise last season, this should push you over the top. Cincinnati landed potential starters with each of its first nine picks, led by CB Dre Kirkpatrick (17) and G Kevin Zeitler (27), who should be in the lineup from Day One. Grade: A-plus

Cleveland Browns: I don’t mind Cleveland going all-in to get Trent Richardson at No. 3. Heck, I don’t even really mind reaching for QB Brandon Weeden at 22. I’m not sure what happened after that, though, as the Browns took OT Mitchell Schwartz when they needed a receiver, then tanked picks on DT John Hughes (87) and WR Travis Benjamin (100). Grade: C-plus

Dallas Cowboys: Dallas fans seem to be of the belief that the move for CB Morris Claiborne (6) made everything else icing on the cake. That may be true — leaping up for Claiborne was a sensational move — and it could have to be, since Dallas didn’t land another immediate-impact guy. DE Tyrone Crawford (81) will have a chance to play as a pass-rusher. Grade: B

Denver Broncos: Help us, Peyton Manning, you’re our only hope. This doesn’t feel like a draft that will put Denver over the top. DT Derek Wolfe fills a need, but Jerel Worthy or Devon Still would have been safer picks, and the Brock Osweiler selection at 57 makes absolutely no sense. Grade: D

Detroit Lions: The Lions are unapologetic about their “best player available” strategy, even when it brings them Ryan Broyles, a receiver coming off a knee injury, at 54. It can’t be oversold, though, how badly Detroit needed that Riley Reiff pick in the first round. CB Dwight Bentley (85) should help, and Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis (223) might be one of the steals of the draft. Grade: B

Green Bay Packers: The Packers had eight picks and used them all on defense. I love the picks of Worthy and CB Casey Heyward (62) in Round 2, though I’m not sold that Nick Perry (29) will fit Green Bay’s scheme that well. But this is a franchise that deserves the benefit of the doubt. Grade: B-plus

Houston Texans: There was the good — Whitney Mercilus gives Houston another excellent pass-rusher after Mario Williams’ departure — and the very good — G Brandon Brooks (76) and DE/DT Jared Crick (126) could both be huge for the Texans. There was also a complete meltdown at wide receiver with red flag-heavy DeVier Posey (68) and inconsistent Keshawn Martin (121). Grade: C-plus

Indianapolis Colts: I would like to have seen an earlier WR pick, but getting the electric T.Y. Hilton (92) and a pair of tight ends (Coby Fleener at 34 and Dwayne Allen at 64) gives Andrew Luck some nice weapons — and provides the Colts a nice offensive base. Don’t sleep on RB Vick Ballard (170). Grade: A-minus

Jacksonville Jaguars: Things seemed to be going so well — the Jags moved up to get Blaine Gabbert a star wide receiver in Justin Blackmon (6) and Jacksonville pounced on DE Andre Branch (38) — and then, BAM!, punter. OLB Brandon Marshall was a gigantic reach at 142. Grade: C-plus

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs actually did some great work late, nabbing RB Cyrus Gray (182) and sure-handed WR Junior Hemingway (238). If only their early work had been as sturdy. DT Dontari Poe (11) might be a great one, but anyone who watched him on tape saw a lethargic competitor. If at least one of two O-line picks, Jeff Allen (44) and Donald Stephenson (74), doesn’t make it, this draft might turn out to be a disaster. Grade: C

Miami Dolphins: This all depends on how much you believe in Ryan Tannehill. I’m on the fence, and especially suspect of his value at No. 8. Jonathan Martin has work to do to start at right tackle, but he was a bargain at 42. The wild card here is TE Michael Egnew (78), who will have to play a key role, since Miami more or less neglected the receiver spot. Grade: B-minus

Minnesota Vikings: You can dock Minnesota if you think Claiborne should have been the pick at 4 over OT Matt Kalil. I think the Vikings did the right thing, and their subsequent pickups of S Harrison Smith (29), CB Josh Robinson (66) and WR Jarius Wright (118) just add to that belief. Grade: A

New England Patriots: This must be what it’s like on the floor of the Stock Exchange. New England started with four picks (two first, two seconds), traded up twice in the first, then traded down enough to add four picks after Round 2. The results? A mixed bag, with DE Chandler Jones (21) and LB Dont’a Hightower (25) possible moments of brilliance, and S Tavon Wilson (48) potentially a total flub. Grade: B-minus

New Orleans Saints: It’s hard to do much without a pick in Round 1 or 2 … and the Saints didn’t do much. The keys will be DT Akiem Hicks’ (89) transition from Canadian college ball to the NFL and WR Nick Toon’s (122) ability to stay healthy. No one after that is a sure-bet to make the roster. Grade: D-plus

New York Giants: Honestly, their worst pick might have been their first one: RB David Wilson (32) has playmaking ability, but he might struggle to make an impact in his rookie season. It was gem after gem from then out: WR Rueben Randle (63), CB Jayron Hosley (94) and OT Brandon Mosley (131) standing out. Grade: B-plus

New York Jets: DE Quinton Coples is a colossal roll of the dice at 16 overall, and the Jets decided to address their issues at offensive tackle by completely ignoring that position. WR Stephen Hill (43) will help that underwhelming unit, as might sleeper Jordan White (244). But there was more bad than good here. Grade: D-plus

Oakland Raiders: Like the Saints, Oakland didn’t have a pick until the third round. The Raiders didn’t do too poorly given that challenge, landing a needed offensive lineman in Tony Bergstrom (95) and finding underrated WR Juron Criner at 168. It was a safer draft than New Orleans had in similar circumstances, but there are no stars here. Grade: C

Philadelphia Eagles: I’m very unconvinced that QB Nick Foles will ever be an NFL starter, so using a third-rounder (88) on him stings. Aside from that, this was gold. Philadelphia robbed the league by trading up for DT Fletcher Cox at 12, then added solid pieces in LB Mychal Kendricks (46), DE Vinny Curry (59), CB Brandon Boykin (123), WR Marvin McNutt (194) and G/T Brandon Washington (200). Grade: A-minus

Pittsburgh Steelers: Not sure how the Steelers did it, but G David DeCastro (24), T Mike Adams (56) and NT Alameda Ta’amu (109) all fell into their lap, and all fit the Pittsburgh scheme (even if Adams brings some character concerns). The Sean Spence pick at 86 was the only question mark, because Spence doesn’t appear to be a great fit for the Steelers’ 3-4. Grade: A-minus

San Diego Chargers: I’m not sure how DE/OLB Melvin Ingram fell to 18, but the Chargers will reap the benefits for years. DT Kendall Reyes (49) and S Brandon Taylor (73) are perfect puzzle pieces at positions of need, too, so it’s hard to knock San Diego even for the odd pick of G Johnny Troutman (149). Grade: A

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers made WR A.J. Jenkins a shocking pick at 29, then grabbed LaMichael James at 61 — James has home-run potential, but the 49ers already have a crowded backfield with similar players. OL Joe Looney’s an injury concern, and LB Darius Fleming has a long way to go to be a productive NFL player. Grade: D

Seattle Seahawks: Oh right, this is how Ingram made it to San Diego — the Seahawks went bonkers and picked Bruce Irvin at 15. Could he develop into a solid pass-rusher? Sure, but this was a spit take-inducing selection. LB Bobby Wagner (47) and RB Robert Turbin (106), both from Utah State, will help, and QB Russell Wilson (74) has a bright future, even if Seattle didn’t really need him. Everything else was … very … blah. Grade: C

St. Louis Rams: DT Michael Brockers (14), if he develops well, will fit in nicely with Jeff Fisher’s defense. St. Louis also swung for the fences with CB Janoris Jenkins (39), RB Isaiah Pead (50) and DB Trumaine Johnson (65). A top-flight WR would have been nice, but Brian Quick (33) or Chris Givens (96) could get there. Grade: B-plus

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mark Barron (7) fills a huge need at safety, but you can understand those questioning why Tampa Bay didn’t just stay put and take Claiborne. Running back Doug Martin (31) and LB Lavonte David (58) will help immediately, and CB Keith Tandy (174) was a bit of a steal at a position that the Bucs need help. Grade: A-minus

Tennessee Titans: This is a weird one for me, because I like just about everyone Tennessee took, especially WR Kendall Wright (20) and DT Mike Martin (82). The whole picture doesn’t come together, however, and I think it’s because the Titans needed offensive line and pass-rush help … and got neither. Grade: C

Washington Redskins: This draft, and the future of the franchise, rests in Robert Griffin III’s hands. They sold out for him, and then had a crummy draft after that top pick — Kirk Cousins in Round 4? Downright baffling, even for the Redskins. Washington tried to address its offensive line, but Josh LeRibeus (71), Adam Gettis (141) and Tom Compton (193) form a collection of subpar options. Grade: B-minus

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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
USA Today wrote:
Ranking NFL teams' 2012 drafts 1-32

Let's punt the urge to grade the 2012 NFL draft at this moment. History strongly suggests that drafts can't be fairly evaluated until at least three years have passed, so it's folly to assign A's, B's and F's just days after the dust has settled. However, our unalterable first impressions have already made their imprints, so here's a rundown of our initial reaction after watching 253 picks come off the board.

First impression: Loved it

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: What a job by GM Kevin Colbert and his staff, who seemed to get impact players in the first five rounds. After years of relying on a patchwork offensive line, G David DeCastro (Round 1) and T Mike Adams (Round 2) join C Maurkice Pouncey and LT Marcus Gilbert on what may be an elite group this season. LB Sean Spence (Round 3) and 348-pound NT Alameda Ta'amu (Round 4) look like starters no later than 2013. And RB Chris Rainey (Round 5) is a home-run threat the team didn't have in its backfield or return game.

2. New York Giants: GM Jerry Reese had five selections in the first four rounds and seemed to masterfully adhere to his penchant for taking the best player while simultaneously addressing need with all five choices. Don't be surprised to see first-round RB David Wilson leave a much bigger footprint in 2012 than Ahmad Bradshaw.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: They're not known for their draft prowess, but Mike Brown might have secured at least a half-dozen starters beginning with CB Dre Kirkpatrick and G Kevin Zeitler in Round 1. They added multiple wideouts (Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones) to supplement A.J. Green and a pair of defensive tackles (Devon Still, Brandon Thompson) who may eventually anchor the line. They even signed free agent LB Vontaze Burfict, a boom-or-bust prospect who essentially arrives with no risk assumed.

4. New England Patriots: They broke with their tendency and moved up the board twice for blue chippers rather than amassing lower and/or future picks. First-round DE Chandler Jones and ILB Dont'a Hightower are perfect additions for a defense that struggled in 2011, and even Round 7 CB Alfonzo Dennard could be an impact player if he shakes his legal issue. Laudable win-now moves for a team seemingly on the cusp of a fourth Super Bowl title.

5. Green Bay Packers: Like New England, they atypically opted to move up instead of down multiple times. GM Ted Thompson patched a defense that allowed the most yards in the NFL last season with a pass rusher (Round 1 OLB Nick Perry), base end (Round 2 DL Jerel Worthy), and a cover man (Round 2 CB Casey Hayward), who could pave the way for Charles Woodson to move to safety. No reason to think Green Bay won't be in the Super Bowl mix again in 2012.

6. Indianapolis Colts: After getting Andrew Luck off the top, new GM Ryan Grigson invested six of his next seven choices into rebuilding the offense around Peyton Manning's successor. It appears Grigson did well, especially by grabbing Stanford TE Coby Fleener, who brings instant chemistry with Luck to the equation.

7. Baltimore Ravens: Impact player for defense (LB Courtney Upshaw, a gift in Round 2), check. Offensive line reinforcements, check. Depth at offensive skill positions, check. Another nice job by GM Ozzie Newsome? Sure looks like it.

8. Philadelphia Eagles: All too often, the center of their defense proved the Achilles' heel in 2011. Coach Andy Reid clearly seems to understand that and traded up in Round 1 for highly regarded DT Fletcher Cox. After previously acquiring MLB DeMeco Ryans, Reid continued investing in the second level by getting Mychal Kendricks in Round 2 before landing another top-notch pass rusher in Vinny Curry. Fourth-round CB Brandon Boykin may even stem the loss of Asante Samuel. Dream Team part deux?

9. Dallas Cowboys: This crop will be defined by Jerry Jones' bold stroke to bolt up to No. 6 for CB Morris Claiborne at the expense of a second rounder. For a team seemingly on the cusp of big things, it appears like a nice gamble. Keep an eye on sixth-round TE James Hanna.

First impression: Liked it

10. St. Louis Rams: They ended up with five of the top 65 choices, and all of them (DT Michael Brockers, WR Brian Quick, CB Janoris Jenkins, RB Isaiah Pead, CB Trumaine Johnson) could develop into core players, and yet each has serious questions too. We would've liked to have seen a better mix of apparent "can't-miss" talent (Claiborne or WR Justin Blackmon) coupled with the projects. But all that aside, kudos to the Rams for the pre-draft trade out of the No. 2 slot, one that still leaves them holding two future first rounders courtesy of Washington.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Nice job extracting four picks from Cleveland while moving down one spot to No. 4, where GM Rick Spielman made the right choice by taking T Matt Kalil to safeguard QB Christian Ponder. Minnesota also reinforced its spotty secondary, beginning with a move back into Round 1 that netted S Harrison Smith and a nice third-round acquisition in CB Josh Robinson. The rebuild seems to be coming along nicely.

12. Cleveland Browns: They paid through the nose to move up one rung to No. 3 for Alabama RB Trent Richardson and rolled the dice on 28-year-old QB Brandon Weeden 19 spots later. But they needed to close the talent gap between themselves and their AFC North foes, each of them playoff teams in 2011. Second-round T Mitchell Schwartz should start on Day 1, and keep an eye on LB Emmanuel Acho, whose brother Sam emerged as a solid player for the Cardinals as a rookie in 2011.

13. Washington Redskins: This draft will forever be defined by the hefty price paid for QB Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 overall pick and perhaps the only rookie the 'Skins will start in 2012. The choice of promising Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins in Round 4 has generated plenty of criticism, but it makes some sense given the team's long-standing problems with quality and depth under center not to mention the prospect that Cousins could be trade away at a later date a la Matt Schaub or Kevin Kolb .

14. Kansas City Chiefs: They've lacked a roadblock on their defensive line for some time, so we loved the choice of athletic 346-pound NT Dontari Poe 11th overall, especially given the ability to groom him under the watch of coach Romeo Crennel. GM Scott Pioli also upgraded his offensive line and made a nice grab by getting Alabama DB DeQuan Menzie in the fifth. Sexy? No. QB prospect? No. But this is a sneaky good roster.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: We liked the addition of three potential starters (S Mark Barron, RB Doug Martin and LB Lavonte David) in the first 58 picks but pause at the choice to pass on the opportunity to take Claiborne in the top five.

16. Carolina Panthers: They avoided picking for need (defensive line, No. 2 receiver) and went for quality with Round 1 LB Luke Kuechly and Round 2 G Amini Silatolu. If fifth-round CB Josh Norman of Coastal Carolina pans out, this is an impactful haul.

17. Miami Dolphins: They took Ryan Tannehill eighth overall, the franchise's first Round 1 investment in a quarterback since Dan Marino in 1983 and a sign Miami is committed to building with patience since Tannehill can develop behind Matt Moore and David Garrard . T Jonathan Martin may prove second-round larceny and the same goes for Round 4 RB Lamar Miller. Miami still appears to need help at wideout after dealing Brandon Marshall.

18. San Diego Chargers: GM A.J. Smith probably needed to knock this draft out of the park and may very well have succeeded. OLB Melvin Ingram could be a gift after he fell to 18th and DL Kendall Reyes (Round 2) and S Brandon Taylor (Round 3) could contribute immediately. TE Ladarius Green (Round 4) and C David Molk (Round 7) are nice prospects who offer hope with TE Antonio Gates and C Nick Hardwick slowing down.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars: They seemed to get two difference makers in Blackmon (after dealing up to No. 5 overall) and pass rusher Andre Branch in the second round. Taking a punter in Round 3 will expose GM Gene Smith to raised eyebrows, but he's definitely improved the parts around second-year QB Blaine Gabbert in recent weeks.

20. Arizona Cardinals: We thought they'd support QB Kevin Kolb (or is it John Skelton?) with an offensive lineman in Round 1 after the team gave up 54 sacks a year ago. Instead they assisted the quarterbacks by taking WR Michael Floyd, a decision that looked really good when Ole Miss T Bobby Massie fell to them in Round 4.

21. Buffalo Bills: GM Buddy Nix picked up a pair of promising corners (Stephon Gilmore, Ron Brooks) and offensive linemen (Cordy Glenn, Zebrie Sanders), allowing them to upgrade talent while filling cracks. This team is inexorably moving toward snapping its league-high 13-year playoff drought.

22. Atlanta Falcons: In fairness, this light draft has to be partially assessed alongside last year's decision to surrender multiple picks for WR Julio Jones. Still, GM Thomas Dimitroff snared a score by getting C/G Peter Konz 55th while third-round OL Lamar Holmes may also improve last year's blocking issues.

First impression: Ummm …

23. San Francisco 49ers: Given GM Trent Baalke's recent track record, it's probably folly to question any move he makes. But did he overreach for WR A.J. Jenkins in Round 1? Should he have continuously passed on quality offensive line help, waiting until Round 4 to get it? Yet aside from that, second-round RB LaMichael James should make an instant impact on offense and special teams . Getting pass rusher Cam Johnson in the seventh could be a heist.

24. New York Jets: Their top two picks, DE Quinton Coples and WR Stephen Hill, have displayed enormous physical gifts but also come with red flags. Both could be impact players if coach Rex Ryan gets Coples to combine his Julius Peppers-esque talent with consistent effort; speedy Hill should instantly stretch defenses, but this raw prospect may not catch many more balls in 2012 than he did playing in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense.

25. Houston Texans: They adhered to their board in Round 1, adding pass rusher Whitney Mercilus to an already formidable defense. GM Rick Smith dealt out of Round 2 but is apparently hoping mid-round wideouts and blockers (or players currently on the roster) can step up after Houston jettisoned the right side of its offensive line in free agency and failed to secure an impact receiver opposite Andre Johnson. Fourth-round DE Jared Crick may be a catch.

26. Seattle Seahawks: GM John Schneider has made an early living mining gold in the mid-to-late rounds and free agency, and his choice of RB Robert Turbin in Round 4 looks like a score. Yet Schneider's first three picks — Round 1 DE Bruce Irvin, Round 2 LB Bobby Wagner and Round QB Russell Wilson — have exposed him to immediate criticism .

27. New Orleans Saints: Despite the looming prospect of defensive player suspensions in the wake of the team's bounty scandal, it seems they aren't too worried about adding reinforcements, dedicating three of their five picks to offense. Round 3 DL Akiem Hicks (who played collegiately in Canada) could be a windfall .

28. Oakland Raiders: New GM Reggie McKenzie's hands were basically tied by the lack of choices he inherited. Maybe third-round OL Tony Bergstrom gets onto the field early, but this was basically about replenishing depth. The addition of WR Juron Criner in Round 5, who's big (6-3, 224 pounds) but not especially fast (4.68 speed), perfectly encapsulated the philosophical transformation in Oakland.

First impression: Maybe the second impression will be better

29. Detroit Lions: GM Martin Mayhew has done a phenomenal job rebuilding this rising team's talent. But it's possible none of his 2012 selections will start this year, though we applaud the decision to finally get a promising tackle with the first-round choice of Riley Reiff, who could push RT Gosder Cherilus or earn playing time at guard. Second-round WR Ryan Broyles is battling back from an ACL tear but looks like a slot guy, much like 2011 second-rounder Titus Young. And will third-round CB Dwight Bentley be able to quickly make contributions to a secondary that needs them? We like the long-term outlook for Oklahoma LBs Ronnell and Travis Lewis.

30. Chicago Bears: First rounder Shea McClellin is a good-looking player, but is he big enough (6-3, 260 pounds) to play defensive end in the NFL? Second rounder Alshon Jeffery has flashed promise in the past, but will he be too big (he ballooned to the 240-pound range in college) to play wideout in the NFL?

31. Tennsessee Titans: We would've preferred upgrades to the air defense early on with pass rushers or cover guys. Second-round LB Zach Brown seems like a frivolous and perhaps risky pick. But we've been wrong when prematurely grading Tennessee's drafts before (see Chris Johnson in 2008).

32. Denver Broncos: They moved out of the first round and seemingly added little immediate help, odd since it seems like they are in win-now mode after the arrival of 36-year-old QB Peyton Manning. Perhaps they're right about their first choice (DT Derek Wolfe early in Round 2), but they bypassed multiple chances to get more highly regarded run stuffers. Getting QB Brock Osweiler later in the round was also a bit of head scratcher. Our favorite pick was C Philip Blake in Round 4.

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April 30th, 2012, 12:37 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
Fox Sports wrote:
Czar's team-by-team NFL Draft grades

Detroit Lions

With an aging offensive line, Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff fills a specific need, especially with a 5,000-yard passer in Matthew Stafford. Reiff is a highly skilled pass protector and could end up starting this season. ... The Lions took two players from Oklahoma. One of them was linebacker Ronnell Lewis, whose nickname is "The Hammer" for reasons I'm sure you can imagine. Lewis delivers the blows. The other Sooner was receiver Ryan Broyles, who wasn't considered a top-10 receiver by several teams because he's coming off a torn left knee ACL. Before the injury last November, he scored 45 touchdowns in his college career. ... Detroit needs some cornerback help and took two potential ones in Dwight Bentley from Louisiana-Lafayette and Chris Greenwood from nearby Albion College. Grade: B-


Like what he had to say but the fact that we took 3 OK Players, 3 CBs & Ryan Broyles had 48 College touchdowns is kinda funny. 1 Mistake in a wrapup is 1 thing, but 3 is pretty sloppy.


April 30th, 2012, 1:20 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
Prolly the most accurate assessment of the 2012 draft:
PFT wrote:
The official PFT draft grades
Posted by Mike Florio on April 29, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

The NFL draft always comes in like a mountain lion on HGH and goes out like a comatose lamb. Now that all the names have been called and the teams are scrambling for training-camp tackling dummies, it’s time to hand out official grades.

And, as usual, we give every team the same grade: Incomplete.

It’s too early to know how any of these teams have done, because no one has any idea how any of these players will perform until they step onto an NFL field and face competition significantly greater than anything they ever have faced before. Some will slam against a ceiling that no one knew existed between their abilities in college and in the NFL. Others will surpass even the wildest hopes or expectations that anyone currently could have of them.

Some will seemingly do a deal with the devil, going from widely-overlooked 199th overall pick to one of the best to ever play his position.

Even though there’s no way of knowing what will happen, that doesn’t stop people from pretending to know, all in the hopes of satiating the public’s unquenchable thirst for reasons to be optimistic that their favorite teams could possibly find a way this year to navigate through their schedule and make it to the playoffs. And given the multiple recent examples of teams turning a skin-of-their-teeth postseason berth into a Super Bowl win, there’s never been a better time to sell hope.

When it comes to selling hope, however, it’s important to be realistic. And anyone who pretends to know how these players will translate to the NFL in light of decades of history proving that it’s a crapshoot simply isn’t being realistic.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -grades-2/

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April 30th, 2012, 2:47 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
TheRealWags wrote:
Prolly the most accurate assessment of the 2012 draft:
PFT wrote:
The official PFT draft grades
Posted by Mike Florio on April 29, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

The NFL draft always comes in like a mountain lion on HGH and goes out like a comatose lamb. Now that all the names have been called and the teams are scrambling for training-camp tackling dummies, it’s time to hand out official grades.

And, as usual, we give every team the same grade: Incomplete.

It’s too early to know how any of these teams have done, because no one has any idea how any of these players will perform until they step onto an NFL field and face competition significantly greater than anything they ever have faced before. Some will slam against a ceiling that no one knew existed between their abilities in college and in the NFL. Others will surpass even the wildest hopes or expectations that anyone currently could have of them.

Some will seemingly do a deal with the devil, going from widely-overlooked 199th overall pick to one of the best to ever play his position.

Even though there’s no way of knowing what will happen, that doesn’t stop people from pretending to know, all in the hopes of satiating the public’s unquenchable thirst for reasons to be optimistic that their favorite teams could possibly find a way this year to navigate through their schedule and make it to the playoffs. And given the multiple recent examples of teams turning a skin-of-their-teeth postseason berth into a Super Bowl win, there’s never been a better time to sell hope.

When it comes to selling hope, however, it’s important to be realistic. And anyone who pretends to know how these players will translate to the NFL in light of decades of history proving that it’s a crapshoot simply isn’t being realistic.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -grades-2/


This ^


April 30th, 2012, 4:21 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
TheRealWags wrote:
Prolly the most accurate assessment of the 2012 draft:
PFT wrote:
The official PFT draft grades
Posted by Mike Florio on April 29, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

The NFL draft always comes in like a mountain lion on HGH and goes out like a comatose lamb. Now that all the names have been called and the teams are scrambling for training-camp tackling dummies, it’s time to hand out official grades.

And, as usual, we give every team the same grade: Incomplete.

It’s too early to know how any of these teams have done, because no one has any idea how any of these players will perform until they step onto an NFL field and face competition significantly greater than anything they ever have faced before. Some will slam against a ceiling that no one knew existed between their abilities in college and in the NFL. Others will surpass even the wildest hopes or expectations that anyone currently could have of them.

Some will seemingly do a deal with the devil, going from widely-overlooked 199th overall pick to one of the best to ever play his position.

Even though there’s no way of knowing what will happen, that doesn’t stop people from pretending to know, all in the hopes of satiating the public’s unquenchable thirst for reasons to be optimistic that their favorite teams could possibly find a way this year to navigate through their schedule and make it to the playoffs. And given the multiple recent examples of teams turning a skin-of-their-teeth postseason berth into a Super Bowl win, there’s never been a better time to sell hope.

When it comes to selling hope, however, it’s important to be realistic. And anyone who pretends to know how these players will translate to the NFL in light of decades of history proving that it’s a crapshoot simply isn’t being realistic.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -grades-2/


The stupid thing, though, is that you can say this about EVERY draft. IMO it's still prudent to discuss winners and losers the day after.

My favorite drafts of the year were the Houston Texans (Love Posey and Martin picks, two guys I wanted the Lions to consider if they were ever values in our draft slots), I think they did well with Mercielus, and I think Jared Crick was a good pick. San Fran, IMO, had a good draft too. Joe Looney was a value, A.J. Jenkins should be a good fit in what I believe is going to be a great WR group, if not this year then next, and I think Harbaugh will get good production out of LeMichael James. The Patriots also had a good draft, Bilicheck is the man, and I love Pitts draft. I would have rather had DeCastro over Rieff, but I get the pick. Still, I'm envious that Pitt landed such a great value and such a great player that late in the draft.


April 30th, 2012, 6:21 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
They did say "as usual"... which means they give every draft the same treatment - and for good reason. Draft grades are years premature, based on high-level perceptions and not detailed knowledge of rosters - and accordingly lack context.

Just to give an example (sorry a Bears one) ... the Bears were practically ON RECORD, literally saying in public that they were not going to pursue OL in the draft. There are two young #1 picks coming back from injury (G/swing T Williams and RT Carimi), and they're not going to replace C Garza right now (who's been playing well). There are 3 other young G they like in G/C Spencer, Edwin Williams and G/RT Lance Louis. Plus, they just signed Chilo Rachal as a backup G. So what were they supposed to draft? The only spot that they really *might* need to upgrade is LT. Well guess what? There was only one sure LT in the draft, and the Bears didn't have a prayer to get him. GM Emery said in a presser last week that the rest of the OT in the draft were going to be G in the pros. And Mike Tice - a proven, knowledgeable and successful OLine coach - says that Jamarcus Webb WILL improve in his 3rd year (second year on the left) & do a good job for the Bear. Webb is prototypical in size and athleticism, and Tice thinks he will develop into a fixture like his uncle Richmond.

So... the point is ... the Bears didn't feel they needed to draft on the OL because they're in the middle of a plan they like, and because they believe the line was playing very well during the stretch when Cutler was healthy. But... the talking heads just can't stop criticizing the lack of OL picks. People are obsessed with the sacks under Martz (who is no longer there ... lol) and with terrible backup QBs - and the OL is what is usually referenced in their draft "grade"s.

The Bears got the pass rusher they need, the additional big WR they need, a promising H-back type that they want to use like Aaron Hernandez, and some better quality depth in the secondary. So who cares what the draft grades are? They're meaningless. And the same is the case for the Lions or any other teams. It doesn't give any kind of comparative basis for how teams will do.


April 30th, 2012, 7:52 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
I never understood the grades for drafts because we really have no idea who did well and who didn't.

I would like to see 2009 draft grades though. It's been long enough to judge them.

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May 1st, 2012, 7:56 am
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
DJ-B wrote:
While after draft grades mean nothing... In reality all grades mean nothing, whether the person has performed or not.. all that matters are team results on the field...there is also no harm in it from a fan perspective as an exercise in getting to know what you can about players that you maybe never looked into predraft (think 4th rd +). What is the harm in it. Doesnt affect anyones pay grade. Doesnt affect the temas opinions of the players they drafted.

If you apply that logic across the board.. why have this forum... why discuss gameplans and suggestions midseason. Coaches dont read it. Nobody really gives a sh!t. we are all just espusing our opinions with others that share a likeminded viewpoint as fans of the sames sports team. If you dont like to do post draft grading dont, but saying anybody is wrong or (insert adjective here) for participating in it makes them no more "wrong" than anybody else who posts on a sports teams forums about any topic other than sharing factual news.


May 4th, 2012, 11:16 am
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
is it too early to grade the lions 2011 draft of

1 Nick Fairley - starting to look like a good possibly great player.
2 Titus Young - talented guy that is a POS and probably gone.
2 Mikel LeShoure - looks like he s missing some explosion and lateral movement after an Achilles tear.
5 Doug Hogue - Played some special teams for a year + and is now cut but picked up by Carolina.
7 Jonny Culbreath - Cut.

?

At the minimum, 4 of the guys they drafted are idiots off the field. The other guy wasnt very good and got cut. Young is such an idiot that he purposely hurt the team. Culbreath was on IR for a year and is now gone. LeShoure has contributed but doesnt look like an answer at RB. Fairley is looking like the real deal but one more mix up and he faces a suspension. All in all, this sounds about right for the Lions.


December 11th, 2012, 7:32 pm
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
The Legend wrote:
is it too early to grade the lions 2011 draft of

1 Nick Fairley - starting to look like a good possibly great player.
2 Titus Young - talented guy that is a POS and probably gone.
2 Mikel LeShoure - looks like he s missing some explosion and lateral movement after an Achilles tear.
5 Doug Hogue - Played some special teams for a year + and is now cut but picked up by Carolina.
7 Jonny Culbreath - Cut.

?

At the minimum, 4 of the guys they drafted are idiots off the field. The other guy wasnt very good and got cut. Young is such an idiot that he purposely hurt the team. Culbreath was on IR for a year and is now gone. LeShoure has contributed but doesnt look like an answer at RB. Fairley is looking like the real deal but one more mix up and he faces a suspension. All in all, this sounds about right for the Lions.


It's not really fair to judge a draft based on an injury that happened when the guy was already with the team. I think we need to see more of LeShoure before we can judge him (although the pot thing was dumb). Don't think Hogue was necessarily a bad pick either--more a victim of the numbers game.

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December 14th, 2012, 10:13 am
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
thelomasbrowns wrote:
The Legend wrote:
is it too early to grade the lions 2011 draft of

1 Nick Fairley - starting to look like a good possibly great player.
2 Titus Young - talented guy that is a POS and probably gone.
2 Mikel LeShoure - looks like he s missing some explosion and lateral movement after an Achilles tear.
5 Doug Hogue - Played some special teams for a year + and is now cut but picked up by Carolina.
7 Jonny Culbreath - Cut.

?

At the minimum, 4 of the guys they drafted are idiots off the field. The other guy wasnt very good and got cut. Young is such an idiot that he purposely hurt the team. Culbreath was on IR for a year and is now gone. LeShoure has contributed but doesnt look like an answer at RB. Fairley is looking like the real deal but one more mix up and he faces a suspension. All in all, this sounds about right for the Lions.


It's not really fair to judge a draft based on an injury that happened when the guy was already with the team. I think we need to see more of LeShoure before we can judge him (although the pot thing was dumb). Don't think Hogue was necessarily a bad pick either--more a victim of the numbers game.


fair or not - its a bottom line business. out of the 2011 draft the lions got a very good DT and a below average RB both with off the field problems.


December 16th, 2012, 2:14 am
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Post Re: 2012 Draft Grades
thelomasbrowns wrote:
The Legend wrote:
is it too early to grade the lions 2011 draft of

1 Nick Fairley - starting to look like a good possibly great player.
2 Titus Young - talented guy that is a POS and probably gone.
2 Mikel LeShoure - looks like he s missing some explosion and lateral movement after an Achilles tear.
5 Doug Hogue - Played some special teams for a year + and is now cut but picked up by Carolina.
7 Jonny Culbreath - Cut.

?

At the minimum, 4 of the guys they drafted are idiots off the field. The other guy wasnt very good and got cut. Young is such an idiot that he purposely hurt the team. Culbreath was on IR for a year and is now gone. LeShoure has contributed but doesnt look like an answer at RB. Fairley is looking like the real deal but one more mix up and he faces a suspension. All in all, this sounds about right for the Lions.


It's not really fair to judge a draft based on an injury that happened when the guy was already with the team. I think we need to see more of LeShoure before we can judge him (although the pot thing was dumb). Don't think Hogue was necessarily a bad pick either--more a victim of the numbers game.



Titus was a problem waiting to happen, and it was noted in his player profile.

If Houge was just a numbers casualty why did we keep a guy that was undrafted over him? You really want to argue that our LBs are just so great that we had to cut Hogue over one of the other great ones? Seems like a pretty silly argument to me.

Now, you could grade this draft on other picks, but Mayhew saw fit to trade them away... FOR WHAT!? What traded up has worked for him? Or more importantly, what trade involving nothing more than a late round draft pick has worked for him? The only real move he's made that has worked well was the Roy Williams move, but we even crapped the bed with the players that we received from the fleecing we scored in the trade. So, at the end of the day, what has he really done right?


January 4th, 2013, 1:08 pm
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